tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN November 30, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PST
evening at the soccer stadium where they were supposed to play tonight. be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter @jake tapper or tweet the show @the lead cnn. that's it for the "the lead." i turn you over to my friend wolf blitzer who is in "the situation room." happening now breaking news. no charges. prosecutors in charlotte declare a police shooting caught on camera justified saying there is evidence keith lamont scott was carrying a gun. will the city see a repeat of the violence that followed the deadly encounter. tracking the attacker. cnn learned the student who went on a rampage at ohio state university bought a knife in washington, d.c., the week before. why was he in the nation's capital? the billionaire's club. president-elect trump adds more tycoons to his cabinet. as trump makes good on a vow to keep jobs in the united states,
he has an apparent change of heart about running his business empire from the oval office. will it ease the uproar over conflicts of interest? russian reboot? russian president vladimir putin reveals details of his talks with donald trump saying they agreed relations between washington and moscow should be straightened out. with russia acting against u.s. interests in ukraine, syria and in cyber space will trump heed warnings to be wary? i am wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. we're following breaking news. shr charlotte, north carolina, is bracingfor protests and fears of possible violence in the coming hours. prosecutors there announced the police officer who shot and killed keith lamont scott will not face charges because evidence shows scott was carrying a gun. but there was no sign he raised a weapon in video of the
confrontation captured by scott's wife and police dash-cam. also, breaking this hour, sources are telling cnn that the student behind the attack at ohio state university bought a knife in washington, d.c., the week before his rampage. investigators are now trying to figure out why abdul razak ali artan was in the nation's capital. after indicating otherwise president-elect trump is now promising to remove himself from his vast business empire while he is in the oval office. trump tweeted that legal papers are being drafted that would take him completely out of his corporate interests to avoid conflicts of interest. we're covering all of that and much more this hour with our guests including republican senator james risch, a member of the intelligence and foreign relations committee and our counties a correspondents and analysts are standing by. brian todd is standing by. what is the latest in charlotte?
>> reporter: the district attorney is staunchly and dramatically defending the conduct of charlotte police officer brently vinson saying the shooting death of keith lamont scott in september was justified and that the officer at the time felt his own life was in imminent danger. >> keith! keith! keith! don't you do it. did you shoot him? did you shoot him? did you shoot him? >> reporter: a dramatic announcement today from andrew murray, the district attorney who declined to file charges against officer brently vinson who shot and killed scott in september saying the officer act lawfully. >> our determination is that at that time his belief was reasonable that he was in imminent threat of death or the death of his fellow officers, and that's -- he was justified in shooting. >> reporter: murray presented detailed visual evidence supporting the claims of officers on seen that scott had a gun. >> mr. scott's gun, a colt 380
semi automatic was recovered at the scene. it had one round in the chamber, the safety was off, and the gun was cocked. >> reporter: showing surveillance and body camera images saying scott was wearing a holster on his ankle. the new evidence directly contradicts statements from scott's family and witnesses that he never had a gun but was holding a book instead. >> drop the gun! >> he doesn't have a gun. >> reporter: the district attorney saying a composition book was recovered at the scene but it did not match the reading book description given by witnesses. murray acknowledging none of the videos clearly show scott holding a gun, nor did scott ever directly take aim at officers. >> did mr. scott actually raise the gun? >> he did not raise the gun to our knowledge based on the video or any evidence from any of statements of officers. >> reporter: but murray also said at least three officers reported seeing scott holding a gun before he was shot.
and scott's dna was on the grip of a gun found at the scene. he says the officer who killed scott, officer brently vinson, felt he was in imminent danger. >> it's a justified shooting based on the totality of the circumstances. the gun. the gun that he goes -- when officers come, he draws the gun. he doesn't keep it in his holes holster or put it on the floor. he gets out and doesn't turn to run away from officers. he turns toward them -- >> reporter: counter to some claims murray says officer vinson, an african-american, was the only officer who shot scott. >> an expert firearms analyst found that the four shell casings were fired from officer vinson's gun. >> reporter: local community leaders expressed their disappointment. >> why is it if someone is involved in some kind of criminal activity that they can't be peaceably apprehended? why are there not more deescalation methods used by police with african-american men?
why is it okay, when it comes to them, it's okay to shoot first and ask questions later? >> reporter: scott's september shooting death touched off protests and rioting in and around charlotte. today the scott family pleaded for the public to keep an open mind. >> there is no excuse for violence. and we implore everyone to protest peacefully and to be respectful of everyone's rights. >> reporter: officer vinson's conduct is still being investigated tonight. an official told me a short time ago they are conducting an internal investigation to ensure that policies were followed in this case. in the meantime officer vinson remains on administrative duty. also, a local naacp leader told me her organization is pushing for an independent federal investigation into the scott shooting and into the north carolina state bureau of investigation. wolf. >> brian, what did the d.a. say about keith scott's medication at the time of the shooting? >> reporter: well, he said that,
as of now, they still don't know exactly what medication he was taking, but they did get from scott's wife that he was taking some kind of medication because of a previous injury that he had suffered, and his wife had said that that medication kind of put him in a zone and that, according to the d.a., he had kind of a blank look on his face during the encounter. so the medication clearly played a part in this, but, wolf, it's not clear exactly to what degree it played a part in the shooting. >> brian todd reporting from charlotte. thanks, brian, very much. now the trump transition. cnn's sunlen serfaty is joining us with the latest. donald trump apparently changed his mind about running his businesses while in the oval office. what's the very latest? >> reporter: trump's potential conflicts of interest from his businesses had already been dogging his future in the white house. trump now, in essence, admitting this is not sustainable for him and promising to step back. but his business dealings are extraordinarily complex, and there are big questions still
remaining, can he really remove himself completely and how. donald trump is looking to put a simmering controversy to rest before becoming president. the president-elect announcing on twitter that he will leave his business completely in order to fully focus on running the country. with more details to come at a december 15th press conference where he will be joined by his children. a shift from trump's comments just a week ago. >> i could be president of the united states and run my business 100%. >> reporter: trump now saying, quote, i feel it is visually important as president to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses. democrats on capitol hill are skeptical. >> with his children sitting there talking about deals while he is talking about, you know, government, i mean, that's a problem in and of itself. >> reporter: all this as trump focuses on filling out his cabinet. officially unveiling his economic team today. >> our first priority will be
the tax plan. >> reporter: trump pulling heavily from the wall street world he railed against as a candidate. >> despite all of the wall street money that's being spent against us, it's going to take on and we're going to take on the big donors. >> reporter: tapping a multimillionaire former goldman sachs banker steve mnuchin for treasury secretary. billionaire businessman wilbur ross to serve as commerce secretary, and todd ricketts, part of the billionaire family that owns the chicago cubs, to be deputy commerce secretary. >> we're going to drain the swamp of washington. >> reporter: by stacking his cabinet with wall street insiders and former administration officials trump seems to be sending mixed messages about his drain the swamp promise of the campaign. >> we are going to drain the swamp. >> reporter: meantime, the drama over who trump will choose for secretary of state continues to play out in public. >> the president-elect has narrowed it down to four finalists for this position. >> reporter: trump dining with
top contender mitt romney tuesday night in manhattan. sources describing the meeting as a positive one. the two having good chemistry. >> president-elect, are we looking at the next secretary of state right here? we're going to see what happens. >> reporter: after sharply criticizing trump during the campaign -- >> he is not of the temperament of the kind of stable, thoughtful person we need as a leader. his imagination must not be married to real power. >> reporter: now romney is showering the president-elect with praise. >> it's not easy, winning. i know that myself. he did something i tried to do and was unsuccessful in. >> reporter: team trump also looking to take a victory lap in indiana. >> we're not going to let carrier air-conditioner and ford and all of these other companies -- we're not going to let them go to mexico and other countries. >> reporter: the incoming administration fulfilling a campaign pledge, striking a deal to potentially keep a thousand jobs at the carrier plant in indianapolis from moving to
mexico. >> they're going to call me and they're going to say, mr. president, carrier has decided to stay in indiana. thank you, sir. >> reporter: even though this deal potentially does save about a thousand jobs, still about half of the jobs could -- of the workers could still be sent to mexico, and the devil here is in the details. so many of the details are simply not known so far, like what promises the incoming administration gave to carrier to agree to this. tomorrow trump and mike pence will be in indiana tomorrow to officially announce the deal, wolf. >> maybe we'll learn more details tomorrow about this deal. sunlen serfaty reporting for us. sun le sunlen, thank you. more on the biggest slot to be filled in trump's cabinet, the position of secretary of state. our senior white house correspondent jim acosta is working that part of the story. mitt romney clearly still a major contender. months ago he was a major trump critic? what's the latest you're
hearing? >> reporter: from my vantage point, i was in the room at the dinner last night. it looked like they picked up their forks and buried the hatchet in new york city. it was a productive meeting by all accounts. one transition source described it to me as, quote, a net positive. now, some romney observers thought that the former massachusetts governor looked like a man who was eating crow. being in the room, wolf, i can tell you, just a few tables away, this was a warm and animated discussion. no sign of the bitter animosity that we saw during the campaign. listen to more of what romney had to say last night. it was striking. >> i happen to think that america's best days are ahead of us. i think you're going to see america continuing to lead the world in this century. and what i have seen through these discussions i have had with president-elect trump as well as what we've seen in his speech at the -- the night of his victory, as well as the people he selected as part of his transition, all of those
things combined give me increasing hope that president-elect trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future. >> reporter: contrast that tough language that we saw in the speech in salt lake city earlier this year that was unforgettable. the contrast is striking. >> mr. trump is directing our anger for less than noble purposes. he creates scape goats of muslims and mexican immigrants. he calls for the use of torture. he calls for killing the innocent children and family members of terrorists. he cheers assaults on protesters. he applauds the prospect of twisting the constitution to limit first amendment freedom of the press. this is the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss. here is what i know.
donald trump is a phony, a fraud. his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. >> reporter: so they've come a long way. but the bottom line is this. this dinner last night left me with the impression that mitt romney is very much a serious contender for secretary of state at this point, wolf. romney's aides we should point out have been very careful not to talk about this process. another sign that the 2012 gop nominee is thinking long and hard about this. the sense i am getting from watching this unfold from both sides is that both of these men could simply write off their past as politics and move on as partners. something we saw with barack obama and hillary clinton back in 2008. they were able to overcome some pretty major difficulties, and so did their staffs. so no question this could happen again here, wolf. >> can we assume, jim, that the four finalists, the campaign today said there are four finalists in the effort.
romney -- can we assume they're romney, bob corker, rudy giuliani. >> reporter: bob corker could emerge as someone to bridge the divide between the loyalists in donald trump's world and the people who just could not imagine mitt romney being secretary of state. of course, what i observed last night, wolf, i think was something quite extraordinary. you saw somebody -- two men who were basically very bitter rivals, breaking bread. reince priebus, the incoming white house chief of staff, was there brokering this. it looked to me like these two men could potentially get beyond these very bitter differences that they had. and potentially work together in an administration. as difficult as that might be for some of his loyalists, donald trump looked very serious about this proposition last
night, wolf. >> i am sure it's a serious discussion. jim acosta, thanks very much. let's get more. republican senator james risch of idaho is joining us, a key member of the foreign relations committee and the intelligence committee. senator, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. i know you're in new york but things are well in hand here in "the situation room" in d.c. >> excellent. who is your first choice among the final four, let's say? >> well, you know, first of all, i have a couple really, really good friends in the final four. i was chairman in mitt romney in both of his campaigns. i sat next to bob corker for years and years on the foreign relations committee. i mean, each of them bring incredible things to the table for donald trump to choose from. and so, you know, i have been in this situation. as governor i had to do a transition. the last thing he needs is me looking over his shoulder telling him which way to go. he has a couple people there anyway who i think are outstanding people. >> looks like you like two of
the final four. are you satisfied with what we heard today from donald trump about separating himself from his huge business? >> well, i think that was something that needed to play out. donald trump has not been involved in government previously, and in the years that i have been involved in government, this whole thing has generated to a point where you have got to be very, very careful on conflicts of interest. even if they aren't actual, if they're perceived conflicts of interest, the general public is very tough on those. you in the media are tough on those. and sooner or later this had to happen. i suspect he is probably not very happy about it, but it's just one of those things that had to be done. >> senator ben cardin of maryland introduced a resolution that reads in part, the arrangements previously described by mr. trump and his lawyers would not be independent. the idea that president-elect trump's children are or would be truly independent managers is
not credible, especially so long as they have leadership positions in the trump presidential transition team. this is not a blind trust. and this is not an arrangement that will ensure compliance with the emoluments clause of the united states constitution. do you agree? >> i don't. ben is a good friend of mine. bright guy. he and i agree a lot more than we disagree on particularly on foreign relations matters. but in this particular instance, i think one thing you have got to look at -- and i think probably donald trump is finding this out right now -- he's going to have his hands full running this country. he is going to have a lot more than he can possibly do. he is not going to be able to run the institutions that he has created, very successful institutions and enterprises. he'll have to have someone else doing it for him. it would just be impossible for him to do, given the demands on the time of the chief of -- >> are you okay with his adult children running all of that --
all those business enterprises? >> well, sure. i mean, that's not unusual, that you have family operations. certainly, most of them, as he has pointed out before, have graduated into, and his son spoke about this quite eloquently on the campaign trail, that they've been transitioned into running those businesses over recent years as he has contemplated running for president, and indeed i believe his son said that he previously hadn't run because he didn't feel the kids were quite there yet. but now feels they are. so i just -- i don't see that as a problem. he is going to be focused on running this country. >> should donald trump, senator, be transparent with the american people and fully publicize all the legal documents on december 15th when he holds this news conference with his children announcing how he is separating himself from the trump organization so that the american people know all the very, very specific details?
>> you know, wolf, i can't answer that question. i think we're going to have to leave that up to the lawyers and up to you guys and up to the american people to weigh this and determine whether they know enough about it. there are certainly going to be legal documents that are signed. i am sure they'll be tested. and in this day and age, probably every detail will be leaked in very short order. i suspect people are going to have enough knowledge of this to make a judgment as to whether they think that he is sufficiently separated. those who like him will be happy and those who don't won't be. more to come. including the latest news on the ohio state university attacker, that he was in washington only a few days before the assault, buying a knife in the nation's capital. you are on the intelligence committee. we'll pick your brain, right after a quick break.
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we're back with republican senator james risch of idaho to talk about the new information coming into the situation room. sources telling cnn the student behind the slashing attack at ohio state university actually bought a knife in washington, d.c., the week before his rampage. our justice correspondent pamela brown has been working the story. >> reporter: the information is puzzling to investigators that the attacker travelled to our nation's capital the week before he launched the attack on campus on monday. sources tell us that on thanksgiving day, apparently, november 24th, the attacker drove to washington, d.c., and the following day, black friday, he apparently purchased a large knife at a home depot.
we are told that investigators are able to trace this purchase based on his credit card records, and so, through that, they were able to figure out that he came to washington, d.c., the week before. what investigators are still trying to figure out is whether he had any connections here, contacts with other individuals, where he stayed. all of that is still very much a mystery. also, as we learned, wolf, the attacker also bought knives the morning of the attack in columbus, ohio. some of this is not adding up. as we know, he was looking at isis propaganda. isis has claimed responsibility for the attack, though there is no evidence to back up that claim. what we do know, though, is that isis has been calling on its followers to launch attacks on holidays. and so investigators are trying to figure out whether he had other plans in the works beyond launching the attack on campus there in ohio. wolf. >> very disturbing information. pamela, thank you very much. let's get back to senator risch. senator, you are on the intelligence committee, what are you learning about why he came
to washington, d.c., why he purchased a knife, a big knife, in the nation's capital? >> wolf, this news is so early and so breaking i can't hang more details on it than what pamela has. i will say this. i have -- i have been a little perplexed why people haven't just flat out said, look, this was a terrorist attack. there is no doubt in my mind this was a terrorist attack. the material they've gotten off his social media shows that he was inspired by some of the most notorious people on the internet, preaching how and when to attack american and western interests, and he followed that to a "t." using a vehicle, which is their weapon of choice these days and recently. certainly, his social media has shown that he has urged other people to follow the teachings of these various radical
teachers on the internet. and so there is absolutely no doubt and no question in my mind this was a terrorist attack. >> he was clearly, as we say, inspired by the likes of anwar al awlaki, the american-born al qaeda leader who was killed in a u.s. drone strike. he praised him on his social media. but was it simply inspiration, inspired, or is there any evidence at all that he actually had direct contact with anyone from isis or al qaeda or al shabaab or any other terrorist organization? >> wolf, there is no evidence that he was contacted directly at this point. but the most recent incidents that we have had, that direct contact has been missing in some of them. and the inspirational things that are on the internet are what have been moving people to do these things. so turns out that they don't really need to direct. all they need to do is inspire.
i have watched a lot of the materials. and i can see where vulnerable people, people who are easily led, would be inspired to do this. so they're quick to jump in and take credit for it. and for good reason, because the fingerprints that are on this are clearly the fingerprints of those people who want to do us harm and they're out there describing how this should be done and when it should be done and why it should be done. >> yeah. isis has said, al qaeda has said, if you don't have a gun, get a knife. if you don't have a knife, get a car, just start killing people. that's their motive and mission. senator, thank you for joining us. >> good to see you. coming up, donald trump follows through on a campaign promise but there are still questions about a brand-new deal that will keep about a thousand jobs in the united states. thope to see you again soon.. whoa, whoa, i got this.
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carrier, the air-conditioning company, just released a statement on the agreement it made with donald trump, an agreement that carrier says will preserve more than 1,000 u.s. jobs. part of the statement says this, and i'll put it on the screen. today's announcement is possible because the incoming trump/pence administration has emphasized to us its commitment to support the business community and create an improved, more competitive u.s. business climate. the incentives offered by the state, referring to the state of indiana, were an important consideration. let's discuss with our political experts, mark preston, first to you. this is a big win for donald
trump because, throughout the campaign he said, trust me. if i become president of the united states, these jobs in indiana at carrier, they will stay put, they will not be moved to mexico or any place else. and he delivered already. >> he certainly has delivered. and i do think, for all the negative things we have said about the trump campaign or have focused in on their miscues, this is a victory for them. the question is, the carrier statement says it will be a little more than over 1,000 jobs saved. there were two plants in indiana that were going to be shut down. it's unclear what will happen to the other plant, and perhaps the other thousand or so workers, what's going to happen to those jobs. but the fact of the matter is, a thousand jobs were preserved. i think mike pence certainly had a lot to do with it. a lot of this had to do with state incentives in order to keep carrier there. at the end of the statement, though, wolf, carrier says themselves that they still believe in free trade and that there needs to be a solution
when it comes to the whole globalization of the economy. they are certainly laying down a marker that, while they're happy with this deal, there needs to be something done. and perhaps with donald trump's plan, or what he's talking about doing, may not be something they could support. >> s.e. cupp, we still don't know what the incentives offered by the indiana governor and now the vice president-elect mike pence were, the incentives offered by the state were an important consideration, the carrier statement says. we also don't know specifically what they are referring to when they say that the trump/pence administration has emphasized to us its commitment to support the business community and create an improved, more competitive u.s. business climate. so a lot of details remain to be disclosed. >> lots. first of all, i think, if you are a small business owner, you might look at this and get a little worried. free market conservatives may see it as trump picking winners and losers and overly involving the government and himself in
the free markets. definitely, as preston said, a win. an optical win for trump. but all of these details, what did mike pence offer carrier to stay? united technologies, which is the company that owns carrier, has a lot of defense contracts with the united states. what incentives were offered there long-term? i think that has some people worried that trump is going to sort of be pretty transactional when it comes to getting business done. so, again, i think we just need to learn a whole lot more about how this was done. while also giving him the credit he deserves for accomplishing this before he is even in office. >> how do you see it, jeffrey toobin? >> well, i agree that it's certainly good news. you know, the question is, it's a very big economy, and how can, you know -- can the president of the united states negotiate about every factory in the
united states? i mean, given the size of the economy, it is policies and economic trends that are largely going to determine this. and, you know, i think back to, you know, barney frank, who i covered a long time. he always talked about harold mcmillan, the prime minister of england, who said events, dear boy, events. that's what matters. you know what. if the economy gets better under donald trump, he will get the credit. if it gets worse, he'll get the blame. and one factory is certainly a step in the right direction, but it's going to be the whole economy that matters. >> manu raju, you are always up on capitol hill, as you are right now. mike pence, the vice president-elect, who clearly had an important role in shaping the deal with carrier, he has been up on capitol hill meeting with the leadership there. what's the very latest? what are you hearing? >> he is actually right now meeting with house speaker paul ryan steps from me, wolf, after him meeting with senator majority leader mitch mcconnell for a meeting that lasted roughly 45 minutes.
the reason being is that they are plotting a very ambitious legislative agenda to begin the new congress. they really need to get on the same page. because if things don't go off well, this could turn into a very ugly circular firing squad quickly, especially since the house and senate move at much difference paces. they're trying to manage expectations and figure out the best way to move forward the agenda. to do with that is the repeal of obamacare off the bat. also to figure out when they can move in a repayment of obamacare. that could take much longer. figuring out how to deal with tax reform. another big agenda they could move and possibly circumvent a filibuster. in addition, all the nominees that have to be confirmed including a supreme court nominee early next year, wolf. one thing we're hearing is that mitch mcconnell wants to confirm cabinet-level appointments early in the new session, including
the attorney general, jeff sessions. >> the vice president-elect mike pence, who himself was a congressman for ten years will be playing a very, very significant role in all of this. everybody stand by. there is more that we need to discuss right after this quick break. [vo] quickbooks introduces jeanette. and her new business: i do, to go. jeanette was excellent at marrying people. but had trouble getting paid. not a good time, jeanette. even worse. now i'm uncomfortable.
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business operations completely. they'll all be announced december 15th at a news conference. he will be there with his adult children who will presumably take over the business. do we have any more details on what trump plans to do to separate himself completely from his huge trump organization? >> we don't, wolf. but in true trump fashion, he left a little bit out there and said he'll give us the rest later. more details later. this is more complicated than i think most people understand. donald trump either owns or has ownership in or a stake in 500 companies. 125 of those companies, according to a cnn money analysis, has done business in 25 foreign countries. so just imagine that tangled web of businesses that donald trump has or has had, you know, to his name. so of course, you know, donald trump, as he said today that he certainly wants to have the idea that it's visually important to separate himself from his company. i do think it is very difficult for him to do so. i would add to that as well, that there is no laws other than
a very vague law that you cannot accept a present or a title from a foreign country if you are the president of the united states. so he's not necessarily breaking any laws, but it is a very thin rope that he walks along. >> the emolument clause of the u.s. constitution. jeff toobin, short of selling off his entire business, the real estate. country clubs, casinos, the hotels and everything else, is it even possible for him to completely extricate himself from the company? >> probably not. and he doesn't -- he shows no sign of wanting to extricate his family. we talk about how difficult it would be for him to disengage. it actually wouldn't be difficult at all. he could just sell the whole thing. now, he doesn't want to do that. he would probably have to take a loss. and his children couldn't be involved in the company. but he could do it, if he wanted to. he just doesn't want to do it. so the trump family will continue to operate these businesses, presumably, and then
there will be all these conflicts still in existence. but to pretend that this is somehow an impossible problem, it's not an impossible problem. it's just he chooses not to make the sacrifice that solving the problem would entail. >> he makes a fair point, s.e. huge corporations. they're sold -- they're bought out all the time by huger, if you will, bigger corporations that go in and buy that company. >> that's true. but remember, this is a guy, if you believe like i do, who ran for president largely because he thought it would help his businesses, not because he thought he would become president. and so now the irony that he might not be able to profit off of becoming president is really sort of palpable. i just -- i don't see himself completely extricating himself from all of that. that's been his life and his livelihood. and this new -- this new gig he got, i think, kind of caught him
by surprise. >> but there is no sign, is there, that the family will fail to profit from the trump presidency, and in fact quite the opposite. you already have, you know, company -- countries rushing to stay in the trump hotel near the white house. i mean, which will make -- which will help the trump family. this is good for business. >> i mean, yes and no, you know. you also had a lot of businesses wanting to take trump off of their properties when he was, you know, unpopular and saying some pretty outrageous things. i don't think we know yet, net, whether, you know, what he has done over the past two years will be a gain or a negative for his businesses. we just don't know yet. >> all right. everybody stand by. we'll obviously wait until december 15th and get the official word from the trump -- from donald trump about how he's going to extricate himself completely from his business. we'll be right back.
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we're learning new details of conversations between donald trump and vladamir putin. let's go straight to barbara starr. what are you learning? >> reporter: what we are mainly hearing is a lot of people are saying donald trump should not be ready to believe and trust vladamir putin. russian president vladamir putin revealing his talks with the president-elect. >> translator: in my recent phone conversation with donald trump, we agreed that the unsatisfactory condition of russia-u.s. relations should be straightened out. like i have already said, our country is ready to do our part.
>> reporter: donald trump has long praised putin as a strong leader. >> run by a very smart cookie, much smarter, much more cunning than our president. >> reporter: but skepticism of a trump-putin bromance is unrelenting, given russia's activities in ukraine, aleppo, and cyberspace. >> i think putin is playing trump. he also believes that trump will respond to flattery, and putin is going to use that tactic to get what he wants from the united states. >> reporter: cia director john brennan telling the bbc, i think president trump and the new administration need to be wary of russian promises. reversing u.s. course on russia is risky. europe is on edge. u.s. marines are here in norway on winter war games, demonstrating a u.s. presence. and in eastern aleppo, russian bombs paved the way for the regime's killing of civilians. 40% of eastern aleppo has fallen
in the last 48 hours, according to a u.s. defense official. trump claiming he will back out of the iran nuclear deal. the cia director saying, i think it would be disastrous. if the deal is torn up, the u.s. believes iran will restart its nuclear weapons program, prompting other nations to race to catch up. brennan calling it the height of folly to walk away. as trump weighs his choices for secretary of state, the current secretary, who negotiated the deal, made clear he will be ready to speak out against the upcoming trump administration. >> we're going to have one hell of a debate over the course of the next few years, i assure you. >> reporter: john kerry making a promise. >> i am not going to go quietly into the night. >> reporter: and don't forget, president obama also has raised the prospect he will speak out in public, something former
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